A 1998 work of Ms. Kearsley’s, “Named of the Dragon” was released in the U.S. just last month.
Literary agent Lyn Ravenshaw follows her eccentric client to southwest Wales for the holidays. Lured there by her client’s latest boyfriend, a fellow author who is reportedly unhappy with his representation, Lyn stumbles into an uncomfortable scene. Next-door is Elen, a young widow with an infant son, whose husband died a tragic death before the baby was born. Most think Elen simply traumatized by all that life has dealt her, but others think she is mad and the child should be institutionalized. Elen has dreams and visions that a dragon is coming for her child, and she names Lyn as one who will help her protect the boy. Lyn is skeptical until a ghostly vision named Margaret appears, begging her to “help save the boy”. Steeped in local Welsh legend, history, and scenery, this is a quick, pleasing read.
I enjoy reading earlier works by this author because you can really see her coming into her own over the course of her novels. These earlier works (“Dragon” and “Splendour Falls“) are not nearly as captivating as my all-time favorite (the recently published “The Firebird“), but you can see the sparks that start here and bloom into pure fireworks in her later works. It’s amazing to watch this process in action. In this novel, the modern tale wasn’t nearly as engaging as they are in her more recent works. And I wish the past (Lady Margaret Beaufort, Henry Tudor) had been emphasized more. Instead, they whisk in and whisk out and serve only as the window dressing for the modern tale. I think using the historical stories more would have made this story more impactful. Still, an enjoyable weekend read, especially when the chilly wind is howling outside.
Amazon link is here.